snarling and never speaking to anyone. Her
farm at the junction of Highland Street and
South Avenue seemed to be overrun with
noisy geese that greeted us with shrill cackles whenever
we drove or rode past. I was afraid of geese having read in some fairy
tale about how they attacked children, holding them down
with their beaks and flapping them with their wings.
Mrs. Leadbetter made frequent trips on foot to visit her
daughter who lived on Rice Road in Wayland, and she had
beaten a path through the woods off Highland Street to shorten
the distance. Although I never explored her path, I knew the
points where it crossed the woodroads we frequented, and I always felt a
little uneasy at these intersections. If she happened
to feel tired along the way, she would lie down and take a nap
and I often saw her stretched out among the ferns by the road- side. It
was a weird sight, that little bundle of black rags with a
pair of legs protruding.
Just beyond Mrs. Leadbetter's path was Davey's driveway, nearly
half a mile long and leading up the hill to a large un-
finished house. Graffiti artists had decorated boulders near the
driveway entrance with Davey the Boy Broker — the termin- ology
used by the Press when he was in the daily headlines.
Mr. Davey had been a young broker and had made a lot of money through
some questionable manipulations, and he went to jail before
the house was very far along. For years it stood there, uncared for and
exposed on all sides to the elements. Its partially covered windows,
rough-boarded floors and half lathed walls gave it the
appearance of being haunted, and loose pieces of material, slapping in
the breeze, seemed to be activated by the spirit of the
unfortunate Mr. Davey.